Daten zum Projekt

The Geomorphic Legacy of Earthquakes in the Hindu Kush

Initiative: Förderangebot für geflohene Wissenschaftler:innen aus Afghanistan
Ausschreibung: Förderangebot für geflohene Wissenschaftler:innen aus Afghanistan
Bewilligung: 18.08.2022
Laufzeit: 2 Jahre


Afghanistan lies in one of the seismically most active intracontinental regions worldwide, endowed with the steep, rugged topography of the Hindu Kush and Pamir mountains that separate the Indus and Amu Darya basins. The northeastern part of the nation is prone to strong earthquakes, given the ongoing collision of the Indian and Eurasian plates. The objective of the project is to learn more about the geomorphic legacy of prehistoric earthquakes in northeast Afghanistan from diagnostic evidence of offset landforms and large landslides triggered by strong seismic ground shaking. Earthquakes can trigger catastrophic landslides that release sediment into rivers, setting off entire cascades of valley-floor aggradation, channel and floodplain instability, increased flooding frequency, and contaminant transport. These earthquake-induced hazards may seriously impede the reconstruction process, sustainable development, and economic recovery of Afghanistan. To strengthen this knowledge base, the project combines expert-based and automatic mapping of landforms and landslides from repositories of remote sensing and topographic data. It integrates information on active faults with patterns of modern and prehistoric earthquakes, and newly detected landslides. The contribution complements the generic seismic hazard and risk appraisals for northeast Afghanistan with estimates about the long-lived geomorphic consequences of earthquakes. The project is worked on by Dr. Zakeria Shnizai.


  • Prof. Oliver Korup, PhD

    Universität Potsdam
    Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
    Institut für Umweltwissenschaften und Geographie
    Arbeitsgruppe Naturgefahren
    Campus Golm